An 18th century horizontal garden sundial

A beautiful 18th century horizontal garden sundial

A historic horizontal bronze garden sundial, 1723

A fine 18th century horizontal sundial stands in the gardens of the House of Dun near Montrose. The dial is octagonal made in bronze set in a carved and moulded stone raised on a baluster pedestal and stone step. Elegant tracery scroll work supports the gnomon.

The dial engraving is detailed employing delicacy of variation in deep and light incisions and ornament. The chapter ring carries exact time divisions down to a single minute. The clearly presented scales for the equation of time are entitled ‘The Solar and Equal Days’. This feature alone tells us the sundial was intended for setting the clocks in the house.

The dedication below the family coat of arms reads, ‘Mr David Erskine of Dun One of ye Lords of Session and Justiciary 1723′. Unusually a second inscription reads, ‘ALX BRAND IN THE MINT EDINBURGH 1723′. Alexander Brand needed the high quality of his work recognised, and he was successful. In an exceptional case, The Lord Provost of Edinburgh George Drummond supported him, interceding for his admission with the trade guild The Incorporation of Hammermen of Edinburgh, who still display Brand’s pendulum clock in the Magdalen Chapel.